Former St. Michael-Albertville football and basketball standout Matt Spaeth picked a great time to make a "highlight reel" catch.
On a key drive for the Chicago Bears in the second half, Spaeth broke for the corner of the end zone and dove for a 13-yard pass from Jay Cutler, hanging on to make it a 25-3 lead for the home squad.
The catch–and Spaeth’s success in helping shore up a battered Bears offensive line–is earning the hometown favorite some praise both in Chicago and here in the Twin Cities.
Longtime scribe Sid Hartman cornered Spaeth after Sunday’s win, which put the Bears two games clear of the Vikes in the NFC North standings, to ask him about the play and the Bears’ season.
Patrick Reusse, Star Tribune columnist and ESPN radio host, said the catch took him back to a 2001 playoff game in St. Michael when the Knights topped Class 4A powerhouse Hutchinson.
And the AP captured Spaeth’s catch in front of Vikings’ safety Jamarca Sanford, showing him struggling to keep his body inbounds to make the play.
Finally, the Chicago Daily Herald awarded the tight end one of its “Game Balls” for the key play.
Columnist Mike Spellman wrote:
“[Brandon] Marshall will have a ton more opportunities down the road and the same might not be said for tight end Matt Spaeth. So, for your tremendous catch in the end zone which broke the game open, Matt Spaeth, this game ball’s for you.”